Foo Chek Wee

Group HR director

Zalora

 

  1. How did you get started with HR?
I have had more than 10 years of accelerated HR experience in notable companies such as American Express and Visa before joining Zalora Group.

 

I was in an HR specialist role in the first three years of my HR career where I took on learning and development and HR operations routes. Then I spent the next seven years as an HR business partner trying my best to deliver high impact HR value and received strong business endorsements for doing so.

 

  1. What do you love the most about your job?
 

As an HR practitioner who has learnt much about HR functions in multinational companies, I work closely with my teammates and stakeholders to incorporate the best contextualised HR practices into Zalora’s working environment. What’s there not to love about my work?

 

 

  1. In Hong Kong, what do you think is the biggest HR challenge?
Hong Kong is becoming more susceptible to the impact of globalisation and global competition.

 

From an HR challenge standpoint, this translates to local companies requiring to “glocalise” their talent pool to compete with global competitors and collaborate with global partners.

 

Attracting and retaining the already limited talent pool in Hong Kong is the highest priority for most local companies. In response, local companies have to think outside the box.

 

For example, local firms can explore talent from other industries with transferable skills, the possibility of engaging seasoned talent with rich experience to aid in thinking diversely, or even different types of employment to staff (e.g. part-time or flexi-hour contracts).

 

  1. What is your tip for inspiring and uniting employees?
This boils down to having a positive work culture, and line managers at all levels serve as the critical channel in enabling this to happen.

 

HR is in a unique position to observe how the business is run and to provide line managers with feedback on how their behaviours have an impact on employees and work culture. More importantly, HR must have the courage in raising negative feedback to line managers.

 

 

  1. CSR efforts is a hot corporate management topic, how do you think HR can help in that aspect?
HR can proactively initiate such efforts, or gather feedback from the employee population on the value employees place on a particular CSR effort, or motivate employees to participate.

 

  1. How do you think the HR function will evolve in the next five years?
As outsourced HR service vendors mature and perfect their capabilities in providing impact and scale economies, this enables the HR function to focus on human capital strategies and executions that have a direct impact and alignment to the company bottom line.

The aged question on what value HR brings onto the business table has all along been debated, but the next five years will be when we will see more local stories of how HR value is brought to fruition.

 

  1. Complete the sentence: I cannot imagine HR without …
Highly competent HR team members that are always pushing the envelop in being more innovative, impactful and client-centric.